Computer Backup Solutions - All Systems Go

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					                                              Presented by Daniel Toriola


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                                     Computer Backup Solutions – All Systems Go?
                                                          By Erick Simpson



   The subject of computer backups has always been a topic of importance when it comes to
preserving the data on your computer. These days there are more options available to you in this
arena, which can be both a help and a hindrance. On one hand, having more options is helpful
because better solutions have been brought to the marketplace from which you can now choose to fit
your needs. A hindrance exists in that the multitude of choices might scare off users and cause them to
avoid the issue altogether, which can have a disastrous ending.

 It does not have to be complicated nor time consuming, so there is no good reason not to tackle
backing up your computer.

The Philosophy

 We all know that backing up can preserve the information that is stored on your computer, but how far
do you take your backup philosophy? It depends on what you can ‘afford’ to lose.

 To one computer user, just backing up periodically will suffice. The thought here is that if you lose your
data, you can restore it apart from your operating system, and the time that this takes is not a critical
consideration. Many home users fall into this category. It makes sense as long as you are not
dependent upon your computer for time-sensitive applications and tasks and/or for accessing and
retrieving data relative to finances, etc.

 To another user this philosophy is not enough. Those who depend on their data and computer for
more than just casual personal computing understand that if a hard drive fails, their business is down
until they can get it back up and running again. Home users who store irreplaceable photographs and
home video on their computers will also fall into this category. A more comprehensive backup plan is
recommended to help recover from disasters in a timely fashion.

Computer Backup Options

There are several ways to tackle backups of your important data:

Built-in operating system options. Microsoft Windows operating systems provide built-in back up

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                                              Presented by Daniel Toriola


capabilities that allows you to back up your documents or files onto external media. Beginning with
Windows XP and its Automated System Recovery feature, each successive Microsoft desktop
operating system includes the capability to help recover your entire hard drive if necessary. These
backup solutions are reliable and provide a built-in way for you to back up your data without having to
buy an additional program to do so.

 Manual copying onto external devices. You can always resort to the old stand-by method of backing
up by manually copying your data onto an external hard drive, USB memory stick or other external
device such as a recordable CD, DVD or even a floppy drive if you have one. This is cumbersome, but
if you do not have a lot of files, it may be an acceptable solution for you. The pitfalls with this method
are that if you have multiple files, you have to make sure you get all of them, and you may need
numerous target media to save all of your files to.

 Online options for backing up over the Internet. The newest option in
 computer data backup solutions is provided by online companies that enable backup and restoration
of your documents and files over an encrypted high-speed Internet connection to any PC. A small
background application backs up and transfers your files to a hosted storage area in a remote
datacenter when your computer is idle; however, this is not a comprehensive disaster recovery solution
for your entire hard drive. This solution works best when targeted at protecting individual files and
documents on a PC or a Mac, and is generally a subscription-based service for which you pay a
monthly fee for use.

 Making an image of your hard drive. This is a more comprehensive backup and disaster recovery
solution generally performed by technically savvy computer users. This option includes using 3rd-party
programs to make an image of your entire hard drive, which can then be “re-imaged” in case of
catastrophic failure to a new hard drive, providing a hard drive disaster recovery plan. Using this
solution, within a short period of time, you can be back up and running with ALL of your documents,
settings, programs and EVERYTHING intact, as if the disaster never occurred.

 The way to determine the best solution to fit your needs is to ask yourself how soon you need to be
back up and running after encountering a disaster, and how much you are willing to pay. If you can
wait several days, then a computer back up program might be right for you. If you need your data files
immediately, and you have a second computer that you can copy them to, then an online solution
might be the best way to go. Or finally, if your business depends upon your computer and its
applications and data, then you must have a more comprehensive solution.

Erick Simpson is the Vice President of MSP University. Join MSP University FREE for all things
Managed Services: http://www.mspu.us




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                                    Make Certain Your Backup Solutions Are Complete
                                                                By C Toumayan



Backup solutions are the foundation of data protection, and the first line of defense in case of system
failure or data loss of any kind. Backup solutions are the most basic protection for computer data in
case of a system failure of any kind. Data is saved onto media separate from production systems so it
can be retrieved if and when production systems go down, or data is lost for any reason.

 But there are vital tools that can, first, make sure that backups are performed in a timely manner, and
second, catch data that may not have been backed up in case of accidental deletions. These solutions
round out a backup system and, in fact, complete it.

 Because of the sheer amount of data needed to be stored and the time required for backup, fast data
transfer rates are constantly being addressed. While advances such as Network-Attached Storage
(NAS) have greatly assisted in dealing with this problem, one basic hindrance to fast data transfer is
file fragmentation. When dealing with gigabytes of data in files that might exist in tens, hundreds or
even thousands of fragments, the I/O and network traffic necessary to transfer it is considerably-and
unnecessarily-increased. Such situations slow backups substantially, and can also result in aborted
backups that do not complete in the limited time allowed.

 A common hindrance to backups, however, despite ever-advancing technologies, is file fragmentation.
Fragmentation already causes problems in day-to-day file access, as a file split into hundreds or even
thousands (it's more common than you might think) of fragments is going to take considerably longer to
access. Multiply that by all the data files in all an enterprise's computer systems-because a backup
procedure must access all of those files-and it can be seen what a nighmarish problem file
fragmentation can be
 to backups in terms of backup time.

 The best way to ensure that backups occur rapidly and within their allotted times is to employ a defrag
solution that is always working, that allows for a drive to be consistently in a defragmented state. A
product such as Diskeeper meets this qualification.

 Another product to fully round out a backup scheme is Undelete, which provides real-time data
protection in case of accidental deletions. If a file is saved to a local drive, such an accidental deletion
can be recovered from the Windows Recycle Bin. But today, most files are saved remotely to a file
server, and accidental deletions are completely lost. IT personnel must then engage in a
time-consuming search through backup, restoring the version of the file that existed at the time the last
backup was performed.

 Once the file is restored from backup, there is more added time, however, as now the user must bring
that file back up into the state it was in when deleted. Worse, if the file has been created since the last
backup, it must now be re-created from scratch.

Backup solutions are essential-and so are these vital tools to make them complete.

Colleen Toumayan is the Vice President of Public Relations at Diskeeper Corporation. Diskeeper
Corporation further provides real-time data protection and real-time data recovery with Undelete(r)


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